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Attorney General Kennedy Leans Toward Closing Alcatraz

July 2, 1962 - Time seems to be running out for Alcatraz Prison, the place where time stands still. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy said of the island prison in San Francisco Bay: “I would lean toward closing it.” Representative Emanuel Celler, Democrat of Brooklyn, said: “I think, in view of the fact that it is so isolated and costs so much to operate, the prison should be closed and its inmates moved to another place inland.” Both Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Celler cited the ease with which three convicts dug out of their cells last month as indicative of the prison’s rundown condition. On the night of June 11, the three men, convicted bank robbers, slipped through holes in the rear of their cells. The holes had been scraped through the decomposed concrete of the wall with spoons taken from the prison dining room. The men crawled up a pipe tunnel to the roof, made their way to the bay, and disappeared. Their bodies have not been found in the water. Prison authorities believe they drowned.


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